Murry Wilson & Snow
The Break Away EP
Murry Wilson shares the prize with Joe Jackson (father of the Jackson 5, not the super singer/songwriter) as one of the world’s worst Professional Fathers – these manager/Svengali types that invented the cliché of channeling their own rage through their sons (and daughters) and being desperate to be remembered as the Patriarch – as if that could ever be for a good reason too.
Murry quite literally gave Brian a thick ear. He showed almost no love to Dennis, all three of his sons lived in fear of him and though he had a background in music as a composer and hopeful arranger he became one of the world’s more embarrassing coattail riders – maybe culminating in that tragicomic rant captured at the Help Me Rhonda sessions where Murry is like a “producer” with training wheels. He is heard shouting, “I have genius too!”
But there is evidence of Murry’s songwriting and producing – he had a few co-writing credits with The Beach Boys and his own album The Many Moods of Murry Wilson is again a cash-in, a coattail ride, but I kinda like it! It’s cheese. But it’s the right kind of cheese for the right time I reckon.
Well, in that same (blue) vein comes this newly discovered EP which features Murry’s songs and production and arrangements for a little known mid-west band of fly-by-nighters, Snow.
Both the opening title track and We’re Together Again were minor moments in The Beach Boys’ catalogue too. Break Away feels like a charming Ray Conniff Singers moment – it’s a deceptively sweet song and might be one of the very best things with Murry Wilson’s name on it.
We’re Together Again sounds like b-grade Beach Boys material in comparison – you can hear the Beach Boys in this as you hear Snow do what they do. It’s fine but not a patch on the opening title track.
The EP, recently unearthed, is completed by two other tracks – Wilderness and Bless Me. Wilderness is, again, very of its time, late 60s, Ray Conniff, The 5th Dimension, Mamas and The Papas. And yeah, Beach Boys too. It’s rather nice. Same deal with Bless Me, it’s upbeat and cornball but rather lovely also.
Look, this is non-essential stuff – but if you’re into curios and/or if you’re a massive Beach Boys nerd you’re going to want to hear this.
I’ve been playing it heaps lately and really digging it.
The Beach Boys archive is an astounding thing. The sheer amount of off-cuts and newly found things…
I’m always ready and waiting for more.
Now, whatever happened to Snow? Who were they?
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